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Fewer Californians Like High Speed Rail or New Pension Law

A new survey shows that two critical issues in California – pension reform and high speed rail– are NOT sitting well with voters.

The survey shows that more Californians are opposed to high speed rail and think the recently-signed pension legislation doesn’t do enough to address unfunded costs.

The survey was conducted by the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University. It showed that only 39 percent of voters support high speed rail, while 43 percent oppose it.

Voters were given arguments from both supporters and critics and asked to choose which one they agree with.

The most support for the project came from Northern Californians, while voters in southern and central parts of the state generally opposed it. The survey also found that almost 34 percent of voters say the new pension law doesn’t go far enough, 30 percent believe it’s a balanced solution, and 17 percent say it goes too far.

Comments

Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | September 13, 2012 at 5:25 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Of course it does not do enough (the pension issue). Police have been exempt from any change and continue to spike pension benefits. These pensions were administered with no long-term thought, and it is the responsibility of government to make decisions that are plausible to the taxpayer, not outrageous. I support our police and the work they do, but in no way should we be held accountable for their retirement. They are in this same as us and should be responsible for their own private retirement. Not to sound cold, but our wages are going down, not up.

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Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | September 13, 2012 at 6:06 p.m. ― 2 years ago

As usual, the poll lied to the recipients: "We should stop the high speed rail project because the taxpayer price tag has exploded from the advertised $10 billion to nearly $70 billion..." http://publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/news-events/news/2012/09/13-crbt-spp-release-statewide-initiative-survey-results.htm

The price tag was never $10 billion.

Contemptible.

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Avatar for user 'Gary1'

Gary1 | September 13, 2012 at 10:12 p.m. ― 2 years ago

I'm glad to see that people understand that bond money doesn't just appear out of air. It is like charging on a credit card- you have to pay it back. The other problem is that passenger rail rarely breaks even, much less makes a profit, so it will need government subsidies. If passenger train lines were profitable, Amtrac would not exist! BN, UP, and the other rail lines dumped money loosing passenger service on the government and said good riddence to bad rubbish. Both bond repayment money and subsidies could go to education instead. As it is, Governor Brown is holding a gun to the head of K-12 kids and saying that if we don't pass tax increases, there will be less funding for schools. So what is it going to be like having to throw money into the bottomless pit of the high speed rail line? Pull out the gun again and threaten children's education to get yet another tax increase. California needs to cut its losses and stop the highspeed rail.

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Avatar for user 'Outside2view'

Outside2view | September 14, 2012 at 10:03 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Come on people! This is California, the state that is supposed to have the most inovative and advanced technologies. We cannot possibly hold that position without a clean fast and efficient transportation system that most developed and developing countries are doing whether or not they can afford it.

The need for a clean alternative to the automobile is as necessary as the highway system was when the population was smaller. Yes it is a very long term, multi-generational project and the sooner we get statrted the better.

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Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | September 14, 2012 at 10:25 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Gary1, name a high speed rail line anywhere in the world that's over a few years old but still doesn't make an operating profit.

You mentioned Amtrak, but the Acela Express high speed rail "made a profit of about $41 per passenger" in 2008. http://www.businessinsider.com/report-amtrak-loss-comes-to-32-per-passenger-2009-10

Meanwhile, spending $68 billion on HSR in California will fulfill the same amount of transportation demand as spending $158 billion on airports and freeways, so if you're genuinely concerned about saving money for education, then you must be in favor of high speed rail.

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Avatar for user 'astrofan'

astrofan | September 14, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Slowly but surely the people of CA are finally figuring it out. The "high speed" rail boondoggle that went from $34 million to double that (though I'm sure it will be over $100 billion when done), that was supposed to be funded 70% or 80% with private money--ain't going to happen, that has doubled in estimated date of completion, that is not going to go to San Francisco in the time the voters voted for.

Pension "reform." Well I guess it will help by 2040 (if the union bosses haven't gotten back everything they "gave up." Another scam by the whored out legislators.

No more regressive taxes--no on Prop. 30.

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Avatar for user 'astrofan'

astrofan | September 14, 2012 at 10:35 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Er, Derek, perhaps the trains in Europe go to places people want to go. Not Bakersfield to Chowchilla (sp?). Perhaps they actually go fast, remember now it's a mixture of regular and "high speed" rail.

If the voters could revote on this with some factual statisics, instead of the lies they were given, it would gdownnw in flames, and you know it.

PS, If I'm going to SF from SD, I'm taking a plane.

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Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | September 14, 2012 at 11:07 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Astrofan, the $34 billion is in 2008 dollars, while the $68 billion is in 2030 dollars. Inflation's a pain, isn't it?

For $68 billion, we'll have a one seat ride all the way from Los Angeles to San Francisco, running at high speeds between San Francisco and Palmdale. So it isn't just Bakersfield to Chowchilla.

I agree, San Diego to San Francisco is a little too far to be a viable alternative to flying, but Los Angeles to San Francisco, San Diego to Los Angeles, and San Diego to Las Vegas are all practical.

When faced with the question of spending $158 billion or $68 billion to achieve the same result, why would you choose the $158 billion option? This is why, faced with the facts, voters would again vote yes on high speed rail.

I agree with you, no on regressive taxes.

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Avatar for user 'mccolgan55'

mccolgan55 | September 17, 2012 at 8:45 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Derek are you comparing apples to apples? Is your quoted $158 billion on airports and freeways supporting the same destinations as the HSR? Personally I do not have the need to get from LA to SF quickly on a regular basis and although the idea of getting to Vegas quickly is appealing I don't think the taxpayers should be footing the bill. I am wondering what your $158 billion is based on?

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Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | September 17, 2012 at 11:01 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Mccolgan55, the ridership figures and cost estimates are all in the latest business plan of the California High Speed Rail Authority: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/Business_Plan_reports.aspx

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | September 17, 2012 at 1:47 p.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Why do we need a high speed rail from LA to SF? How many people travel between these two cities on a yearly basis?

Lets do a little math. The project will cost 68 billion dollars. If a ticket costs $200 (the average cost of a round trip flight) we would need over 11 million travellers a year, for 30 years, just to pay the initial cost!

As I have said before... California, and most of the US does not have the population density to justify massive public transportation infrastructure. Furthermore, the vast majority of people are not going to use public transportation as long as it is cheaper and more convenient to use their car.

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Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | September 17, 2012 at 2:44 p.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

JeanMarc, so it takes 30 years to pay it off. People who are good with money call that an "investment."

Your argument that people won't use public transportation when it's cheaper and more convenient to use their car is obviously false because so many people fly between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | September 17, 2012 at 3:07 p.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Derek - sorry, I didn't realize it was cheaper and more convenient (don't forget, time is money) to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco than to fly.

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Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | September 17, 2012 at 5:49 p.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

JeanMarc, you implied that it's cheaper and more convenient to drive than take HSR. Since HSR will be cheaper (83% the cost of a plane ticket) and more convenient (endpoints closer to city centers, less security, equal curb-to-curb time) than flying, then by your logic it must be cheaper and more convenient to drive than to fly.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | September 18, 2012 at 8:17 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Derek - I implied that it is cheaper and more convenient to fly than to take the high speed rail.

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Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | September 18, 2012 at 9:18 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

For longer trips, yes. But for shorter trips, such as Los Angeles to San Francisco, it's cheaper and more convenient to take high speed rail than to fly.

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